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Thread: Usage of "his or her"

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    Usage of "his or her"

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    Is the usage of "his or her" correct.

    As a person ages, his or her opinions change.
    If a student parks a car on campus, he or she has to buy a parking sticker.

    Thanks.

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    Those usages are accepted by many people; however, some people feel that they are clunky or unwieldy and prefer to use only one pronoun. For example,

    • As a person ages, her opinions change.
    • As a person ages, his opinions change.

    There are many different opinions on this usage; I think the most important one is to come up with your own 'his or her' policy, and apply is consistently.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoISB View Post
    Is the usage of "his or her" correct.

    As a person ages, his or her opinions change.
    If a student parks a car on campus, he or she has to buy a parking sticker.
    I'm going to move this to the English forum, since it doesn't appear to be a grammar question specific to GMAT.
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    person/student is gender free i.e they can be male/female.
    "his or her" usage in the sentences appear to be correct.
    "his or her" can also be substituted with one


    • As a person ages, ones opinions change.
    • If a student parks a car on campus, one has to buy a parking sticker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    Those usages are accepted by many people; however, some people feel that they are clunky or unwieldy and prefer to use only one pronoun. For example,

    • As a person ages, her opinions change.
    • As a person ages, his opinions change.

    There are many different opinions on this usage; I think the most important one is to come up with your own 'his or her' policy, and apply is consistently.

    I'm going to move this to the English forum, since it doesn't appear to be a grammar question specific to GMAT.
    Hey Erin,
    Thanks for the explanation.
    Actually I picked this sentence from Official Guide 10. Although it was an incorrect choice, the explanation didn't say anything about the use of "his or her".
    So, from your explanation, I conclude that if either of the two is present{his/her} to modify a common noun, I can consider the option correct.

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    Ankylosaurus Forum Admin Erin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravigmat View Post

    • As a person ages, ones his opinions change.
    • If a student parks a car on campus, one she has to buy a parking sticker.
    I wouldn't use one's or one in these sentences. We should use one to refer to people in general. Since you've already specified a noun in these sentences, you should use he, she, he or she, or she or he.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoISB View Post
    Hey Erin,
    Thanks for the explanation.
    Actually I picked this sentence from Official Guide 10. Although it was an incorrect choice, the explanation didn't say anything about the use of "his or her".
    So, from your explanation, I conclude that if either of the two is present {his/her} to modify a common noun, I can consider the option correct.
    Well, it's a bit more complicated than that--you need to consider concision, gender, number, etc. But it sounds like you got the point of the question here.
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    I have always hated the use of 'his or her', 'he or she' or even - Heaven forfend - 's/he'. Where possible I would prefer to reword to avoid, eg:

    A student who parks a car on campus has to buy a parking sticker.

    If students park cars on campus, they have to buy parking stickers.

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    Thanks Erin, Wasleys and Ravigmat.

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